1. The impact of managerialism and internationalization on university leadership has been less investigated.
2. The profile of university leaders in English universities has not significantly changed over the last 20 years.
3. Differences in university types can be identified in terms of research profile and recruitment patterns of Vice-chancellors.
The article "Are university leaders always the same? A longitudinal analysis of Vice-chancellors’ profile in English universities over the last twenty years" by Giovanni Barbato aims to examine whether the core features of university leaders' profiles have been affected by new managerialism and internationalization of higher education. The author develops six hypotheses and tests them using a unique dataset on several dimensions of the profiles of 324 Vice-chancellors from 98 English universities covering a period of more than 20 years.
The article provides valuable insights into the characteristics of university leaders' profiles, highlighting that Vice-chancellors are predominantly academics who have held academic leadership positions and whose appointment is also shaped by a rule of representativeness. However, the article has some potential biases and limitations that need to be considered.
Firstly, the article focuses only on English universities, which limits its generalizability to other countries. Secondly, while the author acknowledges that new managerialism and internationalization suggest the need for different and more powerful leaders, there is no clear definition or explanation provided for what these new leaders should look like. This lack of clarity makes it difficult to assess whether current university leaders are meeting these expectations or not.
Moreover, while the article identifies statistically significant differences among university types in terms of research profile and recruitment patterns, it does not explore why these differences exist or their implications for university leadership. Additionally, there is no discussion about how changes in funding models or government policies may have influenced university leadership over time.
Furthermore, while the article claims that even decades after new managerialism and internationalization emerged, the profile of university leaders still resembles that of the last century with just minor changes retrieved only in certain university types; this claim lacks evidence to support it fully. The author could have provided more data on how Vice-chancellor's profiles have changed over time to support this claim better.
In conclusion, while "Are university leaders always the same?" provides valuable insights into the characteristics of university leaders' profiles, it has some potential biases and limitations that need to be considered. The article could have provided more evidence to support its claims and explored counterarguments to provide a more balanced perspective.